“Christmas Idioms”


Stage 7 Stage 8 Stage 9 As we are in Christmas mode at the moment, I thought it would be a great time to look at some Christmas and Christmas inspired idioms that are in common use. Not all of these are only for use around Christmas time, but some of them can be used …

“Dependent Clauses”


Stage 7 Stage 8 This week we are going to look at two very common types of dependent clauses. But first, let´s just revise what a clause is. A clause is any group of words with a subject and a main verb. We have two types of clauses – Main clauses and Dependent clauses. A …

“The use of the present simple”


Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7 Stage 8 The present simple is most commonly used for regular actions – habits; things we do often. For example: ~ I drink coffee every day. ~ Mark plays football at weekends. ~ We study English on Mondays and Wednesdays. It isn’t necessary to state the frequency of the …

“The Emphatic Do”


Stage 6 Stage 7 This week’s blog is about the “emphatic do”. The emphatic do is when we use the auxiliary verb ‘do’ in order to be emphatic. In general we use the auxiliary verb ‘do’ in questions and in negative sentences but not generally in positive sentences. For example we say “do you play …

“Adverbs of Frequency”


Stage 7 Stage 8 If there’s one thing students learning English know, it’s that the position of words within a sentence is important. Getting this wrong is often an immediate giveaway that the person speaking isn’t a native speaker. Sometimes it’s just hard to know where the words go! In this blog entry we’ll be …

“Relative Pronouns”


In this week’s blog we are going to look at relative pronouns. I am going to speak about the relative pronouns ‘what’, ‘whom’ and ‘whose’. It is first of all important to understand what a relative clause is. A relative clause is a clause that we use to describe a noun. It has the same …

“Delexical Verbs”


Generally, verbs are words that describe actions. Run, play, talk, learn, sit, go, read, eat, watch, stand, choose, drink, etc. are all action verbs. They tell us what somebody is doing. Sometimes, however, verbs rely on the nouns that accompany them for their meaning. When this happens, we call such verbs ‘delexical’ (or ‘light’) verbs. …

“Primary Auxiliaries And Modal Auxiliaries Verbs”


This week’s blog is based on auxiliary verbs. In English there are two types of auxiliary verb, primary auxiliaries and modal auxiliaries. The three primary auxiliary verbs are ‘be’, ‘have’ and ‘do’. There are ten common modal auxiliary verbs and they are ‘can’, ‘could’, ‘will’, ‘would’, ‘shall’, ‘should’, ‘may’, ‘might’, ‘must’ and ‘ought’. Modal auxiliary …

“Word Order”


Non-native English speakers often have difficulty deciding where words should be placed in a sentence. This can create problems, as word order is extremely important in English. Unlike ‘free word order’ languages like Latin, English does not rely heavily on inflection to create meaning. In Latin, words can be moved around (to some extent) within …